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Friday, May 10, 2019

New Johns Island restaurant KinFolk to serve up Nashville hot chicken, soft serve, and orange wine

Family ties

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, May 10, 2019 at 1:11 PM

click to enlarge KinFolk will be under that red awning - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • KinFolk will be under that red awning
KinFolk's Instagram doesn't have any posts yet, but their emoji say it all: Fried🍗 Smoked🍖 Soft Serve 🍦.

Located at 4430 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy., former home of Crave Smokehouse, KinFolk is sandwiched between Beachwalker Rentals and Kava Coffee on Johns Island. It's a slip of a spot, longer than it is wide, with newly installed bright lighting and white subway tiles, plus some colorful wallpaper reminiscent of a kid's playroom. Like the name, KinFolk, it's supposed to be playful — this will be brothers Joe and Kevin Nierstedt's first restaurant together.

"That's the most important thing, having fun with the food," says Joe. A graduate of Johnson & Wales (he was the part of the last class to graduate from the Charleston campus), Joe has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants including Per Se in NYC, The Fat Duck in the UK, and Mugaritz in Spain.

click to enlarge Kevin and Joe - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Kevin and Joe
The Nierstedts have been working in kitchens since high school, and most recently were both working as private chefs in New York and the Caribbean. The brothers, who grew up on James Island, moved back this fall. After years in the high-pressure high-end kitchen grind, they're ready to slow down a beat.

"We wanted to be closer to friends and family," says Kevin. "Seeing how everything is blowing up downtown, and Mt. Pleasant is saturated and it's tough for restaurants on James Island..." Johns Island was the perfect choice, even though Joe says they initially envisioned they'd be on the other side of Johns — KinFolk is about a half mile from Freshfields Village on Kiawah.

But it will also be, essentially, the only restaurant of its kind on Johns Island, aiming to cater to both year-round residents and seasonal beachgoers.

The brothers hope to open by Memorial Day weekend and plan to be open Wed.-Mon. from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to start, serving smoked meats, fried chicken, and inventive soft serve, plus beer and wine. They're thinking about introducing weekend brunch and seven-day service if the demand is there.

Their beer list will include local brews, and the wine list, Joe says, will be "funky." Think orange wine by the glass and offbeat varietals that chard lovers and pinot fiends may not even know they're ready for. Especially not in a casual, counter service ice cream joint.

"The wine will have quirky descriptions — we've seen those wine lists that are trendy, that doesn’t translate," says Joe. "We’re gonna start with a smaller wine menu, available by the glass, half bottle, or bottle. There are a lot of wine drinkers out on Kiawah, and I personally love wine. We're gonna get a little weird with it." 
click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided
Joe says the menu is "based around fried chicken." They'll have Nashville hot chicken with four levels of heat, served on white bread with pickles. They'll also have a small rotating selection of smoked meats plus seasonal veggie sides inspired by the fertile Johns Island ground.

"I think it's fun to cook whatever is coming out of the ground," says Joe. "You won't see anything out of big box trucks."

Joe says they'll cater to families with small kids craving a sweet treat after the beach. They'll have a variety of soft serve available as well as inventive sundaes. "We're hoping to garner a bit of an ice cream spot vibe." He says they'll also be putting energy towards to-go orders, too, as the previous owners indicated that was a hot market.

"It's just us, there's no one else involved," Joe says of KinFolk. Two brothers making the move home, hoping to bring their big city culinary expertise to the Lowcountry. "I have a pretty comprehensive background," Joe says. "Hopefully little things I've picked up here and there will elevate ... Southern comfort cuisine, while still making it fun and modern. Thought the name worked out great ... that comforting kind of place."

Location Details KinFolk
4430 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy
Johns Island, SC
American

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